Monday, June 21, 2010
Yesterday morning marked the 7th procedure at Hospital Adventiste for a young girl named Miranda. Her right leg had been fractured in the earthquake and since that time, she has been here for nearly six months. She is a model of bravery.
Unfortunately during the course of her long stay, several specialists with good intentions all had a different plan of recovery for this young girl, resulting in a difficult and nearly impossible healing process.
Her three and a half hour procedure involved a little 'craftwork' by our scrub techs. A clever series of contraptions were constructed out of a cement like substance which was rolled into little beads and inserted onto metal wires. After setting up they were placed inside the exposed bone. After raising a large flap and grafting over the large wound, we all breathed a sigh of relief in hopes that this would be a successful beginning of her recovery.
However, hopes were diminished upon the realization that she needed an emergency blood transfusion. Cassie had tested her hemoglobin level, which was hovering at about 3 (meaning about 1/3 of value of blood was left in her). Her mother was the first candidate but she was unwilling to donate. So, we started making some phone calls. We were denied all across the board. Another hospital had a supply available but were unwilling to give it up for this case. Even the American Red Cross denied her the blood needed to save her life, saying in order to get blood you have to give it back.
Well it happens to be that Cassie has type O negative blood meaning she can be a universal donor. Even after twelve hours working in the operating room, fatigued, hungry and in need of a good nights sleep, Cassie stepped up to offer her own blood to save Miranda. She had been through so much already, we were not about to let a few stingy 'humanitarian' organizations prevent what would be a relatively simple procedure. We all shuffled up to the voluteer room to witness as she allowed Brooke, a volunteer from Maine administer a large, scary looking needle into her arm and drain nearly a pint of blood.
Her last ditch effort was all that was needed. The new blood was administered to Miranda, who by now was wailing in extreme pain from her long and difficult surgery that morning. Within fifteen minutes, she received the new blood with no side effects and slept throughout the night.